Cheese curds…the squeaky cheese

Cheese curds, the magical dairy treat. Having just returned from the hinterland of Green Bay I still have cheese curds on the palate. I had them fresh and I had them fried..really, I could not have them enough. I could was poetic Dr. Suess-style about how I love cheese curds, but instead, I’ll give you a brief history and tell you where I get mine.

A cult classic

If you don’t know what cheese curds are, its pretty simple, really.  Basically, they are the small bits of the cheese that get pressed together to make cheese, usually cheddar.

The modest curd doesn’t sound like much, but it really is an endearing treat. They are the freshest type of cheese, usually only available in places where there are cheese factories. But where there are cheese curds, there are fans. Everyone who has had them loves them. Maybe its their whimsical irregular shapes, maybe its the smell of real, fresh cheese. Or maybe, just maybe its the squeak. Yes, yes. for those of us who like to play with their food, its the squeak that really distinguishes cheese curds.

Cheese Curds

SQUEAK? What the what?! Yep, when you bite into one of the pieces, it lets out a small, plaintive whimper – which is actually air trapped inside. The reason block cheddar cheese doesn’t squeak is because all the air has been pressed out. In fact, even cheese curds a couple of days old will lose the remnant air and their signature squeak.

My own personal bag of cheese curds looks like a bag of orange popcorn to me. And I am enjoying it one delicious squeak at a time. If you are interested in getting some for yourself, I suggest you buy from the real deal. Renard’s dairy farm in Door County, Wisconsin. Door County is the “thumb” of Wisconsin and is rich with Belgian history and food and Renard’s is a small family owned dairy farm, with three generations of passionate “cheeseheads” making some of the best cheese in all of Wisconsin.

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About Tara DeWitt Coomans

An aspiring cook and an accomplished eater, Tara is inspired by the world around her and the food on her plate. "When you can't jump on a plane and take a vacation to an exotic destination, chances are you can whip up a dish or go to a restaurant that will take you there." says Tara. She often eats out at a restaurant after trying to accomplish a given dish at home. None the less, she enjoys food and what it says about the human experience. Tara is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. She specializes in writing about food, cooking and travel. You can find her in the kitchen, on the plane or at her computer.